Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sardine Pasta Puttanesca

The boyfriend is away this weekend, which means everything is my pace all the time. We've had a fair amount of long distance in our time together, so it's only strange for the first few hours he's gone. And though I do miss him, even if it's just for 3 days, I do like to luxuriate in my time while he's off traipsing through the mountains. I like that the Man is active, but sometimes I just need a low key day... or 3.

Last night, I went out with some friends for sangria. Came home to my empty apartment, where I'd left a small light on for myself, and played some music while I got ready for bed. I did an olive oil, honey, sugar scrub on my face and let it soak in while I did the dishes. I'd cleaned the kitchen spotless earlier, and I much prefer doing  dishes in an otherwise clean kitchen.

I woke up early today, made a pot of tea, and then read for a while in bed with the window and curtains open. I could see 4 mountains deep today, which is unheard of. The rained washed away the mists last night.When I got up, I made the bed. It rained hard last night, so I checked on my flowers and plants on the balcony. Hung some clothes out to dry. Put more clothes in the laundry, and then made a very small, meatless version of Eggs Florence for brunch.

Then, for a while I planned my evening baking plan on King Arthur Flour's website, as a friend has a birthday tomorrow and I'll be making her a surprise something. But at some point, 5 o'clock rolled around. And then 5:30. And then it was 6 and I was faintly hungry. I didn't want to go to the store just for me, so I scanned the pantry and threw together a Pasta Puttanesca-esque dish. This was insanely delicious, and a rare treat for me, as the Man is an avid olive/caper/canned fish hater. It's really quick to put together, and it's light but also very satisfying. I'd say make it for a date, because it tastes special (at least to me) but... the ingredient list will give you a good idea about your breath situation post consumption.

Whenever you serve it, know that it's not only tasty, but healthy, as sardines are rich in protein and nutrients like vitamins A and D, and are one of the most concentrated sources of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are very heart healthy! They are low in calories, but keep you feeling full, so are very diet friendly. Plus, because they're on the bottom of the seafood chain, they don't concentrate heavy metals, and they're one of the cheapest, most eco-friendly seafood purchases you make since sardines are plentiful and sustainable! Enjoy!

Sardine Pasta Puttanesca
serves 2 for a light dinner

300 grams of pasta, any shape, spaghetti or fettuccine are traditional, but I made mine with spirals
2-3 slices of thick sliced, raw bacon, chopped
1/2 a medium red onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can of sardines packed in oil
1/2 cup or about 20 green olives, pitted and smashed
2 tbsp tomato paste

1. Put some salted water on to boil. Turn on some music you like, I prefer something Spanish. Once al dente, drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the water.

2. In a medium sized pan, saute your chopped bacon over medium high heat. Once some fat has rendered, add your onions and cook until almost translucent.

3.Add the garlic, olives and 2-3 sardines with their oil, and cook for about 3 minutes to heat through and meld flavors, breaking up the fish as you go. Add the tomato paste and enough water to make a light sauce, not too wet, just not dry. Thrown your cooked pasta into the pan and stir to coat. Serve!

This would be equally delicious with:
-spinach added near the end to just wilt it
-a tsp to a tbsp of capers
-kalamata olives instead of green
-parsley added at the end.

Mix it up and try some combinations!

I had mine with a side salad dressed with peppered tomatoes, red onions, feta cheese and drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice, plus some slices of baguette with some extra sardine I had leftover.

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